Saturday, January 1, 2011

Beauty Survey #1: Beautiful

Forty women were surveyed about beauty. This blog explains the reasons for the survey.

Here are the questions and a summary of their answers.

#1. “When do you feel the most beautiful? Is it something you do or something someone else does?”

Upon asking this question, I should’ve been more specific. I believe we have both outward, physical beauty as well as inward, character beauty. But for the purpose of this survey, I’m talking about the outside kind. Overall, women said that they feel the most beautiful (physically) when they are balanced, affirmed, and comfortable.

Balance is important. One woman said that she feels the most beautiful when she’s “exercising regularly, making healthy eating choices,” and is “well rested.” Most of the women would agree with her. Not one woman said that a specific hair style or article of clothing made them feel beautiful. Beauty is a state of mind.

One friend told me she feels the most beautiful when she’s naked or dancing in her underwear. Balance, in her life, involves making time for silliness. She’s also fueled by the high of a tough work-out and feeling strong and confident afterward. Not everyone gets excited about exercise. But whatever you do to feel strong, confident, capable, and passionate is part of leading a balanced life. We all want balance. When we feel balanced, we feel beautiful and whole.

Affirmation is important. Women who are dating or married added that they feel beautiful when their boyfriends or husbands tell them they are. We like hearing it. We like knowing our significant others find us attractive. However, there’s a good chance that you might not be hearing this enough. The logical solution to this problem: ask for it. You cannot expect your relationship to resemble a Hollywood movie (unless, of course, you actually do live in a Hollywood movie). The un-romantic part of day-to-day relationships is they require work. If you need something, ask for it.

Exhibit A (a true story):

Heather: “Jeremy, I need you to tell me if you find me attractive. I need to be reminded more often.”

Jeremy: “I thought I was telling you. I let you drive my truck.”

Heather: (furrowed brow, confusion) “What?”

Sometimes how one person shows their love, is different than how the other person receives it. Jeremy is proud of his truck and rarely allows other people drive it. To him, allowing me to drive his truck took trust. He felt that by letting me drive his truck he was communicating that he loved me, thus found me attractive. Obviously, there was a communication error (that we laugh about now). So now he just says, “You’re cute,” and I melt into a pile of mush on the floor.

Comfort is important. I was surprised at how many women said that the fit of their clothing makes a big difference. They feel fat when their clothes are too tight and they feel like they are bulging right out of their clothes. Feeling beautiful means feeling comfortable in what we’re wearing.

So here’s what I’ve found makes these women feel beautiful:

-Seeking balance is still a worthy cause. It may be the most elusive and slippery goal we will ever strive for, but it makes us happier, healthier, and more beautiful.

-It’s okay if hearing “You look nice” makes you giddy. Also, you can ask a significant other for what you need. It might be uncomfortable. The words might dribble out of your mouth like baby food, but they’ll get out. You’ll feel better when you’re giving and receiving love in a way that both of you can feel.

-Wear clothes that you are comfortable in. I have one rule for 95% of my clothing: I must be able to easily climb a tree or bust out a Downward-Dog. If I’m not comfy, than I feel restricted and silly. I’m just guessing, but I doubt you feel any more comfortable than I do in 4-inch high heels, underwire bras, Spanx, and skinny jeans that you spend 70% of the day yanking up from behind. Commit to only buying clothes you feel comfortable wearing. Period.


Joe said...

lol. I can relate to the bit about Jeremy and the truck. Sometimes I don't communicate with Malisa in ways that she understands. We're still learning how to communicate properly.